Settlement money won't restore Ohio city upended by opioids

In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, narcotics detective Paul Laurella retrieves unused medications from the police department’s disposal box in Barberton, Ohio. The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, narcotics detective Will Pfeiffer shows a stored evidence bag that containing methamphetamine before it is destroyed in Barberton, Ohio. The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2019, file photo, medications slated for destruction are shown in a locked storage area of the police department in Barberton, Ohio. The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, Akron fire medic Paul Drouhard shows a box containing naloxone that is carried in all the department’s emergency vehicles. The drug commonly called Narcan is used primarily to treat narcotic overdoses. The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, Barberton Police Chief Vincent Morber shows a copy of a thank-you card that was sent to the department in Barberton, Ohio, for saving the life of the sender, who had overdosed on opioids. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker comes down the stairs at Fire Station No. 4, in Akron, Ohio. “You can get a call someone has overdosed and you get there, you can bring them back with Narcan. Then you’ll go to the same address in the afternoon,” Tucker said. “Or you go to that address in the morning and the two parents have overdosed and there’s a child there. It’s just horrible. It really is.” (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
In this Sept. 11, 2019, photo, Barberton police detective Dan Simpson talks about the the loss of his daughter to an opioid overdose while in his office at the department headquarters in Barberton, Ohio. For public officials in Akron and countless other communities across the country, no amount of money will restore the neighborhoods, families and institutions that were upended by prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AKRON, Ohio — Public officials in Akron, Ohio, say no amount of money will restore the families and institutions that have been upended by the opioid crisis.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma struck a proposed deal Wednesday with about half the states and thousands of local governments over its role in the epidemic. That could mean that public agencies will one day be paid back for the cost of responding to the crisis.

Akron was hit hard by overdose deaths. Some people say it will never be the same. Fire Chief Clarence Tucker says he sometimes felt as if his community was under attack.

Hundreds of deaths shattered families, orphaned children, exhausted first responders and drained public resources. At one point, city officials needed a mobile morgue to house all the corpses.

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